How We Are Working with Colleges to Transform Higher Ed


University of Nebraska - Innovating the Environmental Program

The University of Nebraska, Lincoln, recently integrated Indigo with their four-year Environmental Studies program. Through use of the Indigo Assessment, university administrators are able to 1) develop the non-cognitive or “soft” skills necessary for successful graduation, 2) increase job placement post-graduation, and 3) foster a sense of community among students.

Critical Soft Skills Identified

By administering the Indigo Assessment to all ES students, this university was able to spot certain trends among students who dropped out of the program vs. students who graduated successfully. In particular, students with underdeveloped Teamwork and Self-Management skills had a far lower chance of success.  Armed with this data, educators are now working to incorporate these critical skills into existing curricula in order to increase student retention.

Program Tailored to Fit Student Motivators

Furthermore, the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, is now able to tailor its Environmental Studies program to fit the specific behavioral styles and motivators of its students. For instance, assessment results revealed that 90% of ES students are highly motivated by Aesthetics, while very few respond to Utilitarian motivators. This knowledge will inform curricula and could help draw more students to the program.

Students Discover Unique Strengths

Finally, fostering self-understanding through the Indigo Assessment allows counselors to guide students into careers well suited to their individual strengths. Dr. Dave Gosselin, Director of Environmental Studies at UNL, believes that the Indigo Assessment will enable UNL to "modify our educational program to meet the needs of students and their future employers." To read the full 4-page case study, click here.

Assessment of student attributes improves our ability to modify our educational program to meet the needs of students and their future employers.
— Dr. Dave Gosselin, Director of Environmental Studies at UNL

Data Insights from Our Work with Higher Ed Institutions

Steady and compliant students - Engineering programs reward specific types of students. 

When surveying more than 300 incoming freshmen in a large southwestern university engineering program, we found that their students are very high in Steadiness and Compliance – this a trend we have seen in the more than 1,000 engineering students we have assessed. These engineering students enjoy having a structured, detailed process and plan in place when approaching projects. While these engineering students will put high quality work and products, they may need someone higher in Dominance to help lead and push forward their projects – especially in entrepreneurial or commercialization projects. 

Engineering programs are not helping to develop certain skills - which are key to success in the 21st century.

With any school we work with, we want to peel back and see the skills where students feel less confident. Surveying engineering graduate students (average age 30), we found many of these students felt they were lacking in Empathy, Interpersonal Skills, Persuasion, and Written Communication. It’s up to schools to decide if they try and develop these skills or focus on their students’ strengths and look for opportunities to pair them up with students who can fill the gaps (business college or journalism college students).